Do you ever feel like you are selling out because you have to do things for work that are not in line with your values? I’ve been there, done that. Now this work at home momma is trying to have it all. Can I really be there for my family and earn a living without selling out just to make ends meet?
I guess you could say that I sell stuff for a living. My first job is still market manager for our local farmers’ market, and sales is definitely an important part of that job. Since it is a small non-profit that encourages real food and helps local farmers, I find it pretty easy to get excited about selling and promoting the farmers’ market. Unfortunately, as a small nonprofit, the hours are very part-time and the pay is not extraordinary. Farmers’ market managers are notoriously under-paid, but not one of us is in it for the money. It’s one of those jobs that some people even do for free if they are in a position to do so, though research shows that markets benefit from having a paid manager, especially when they can keep the same manager for several years.
Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to work for free. I’m not even in a position to work just part-time. Everyone needs to find his or her own balance between making a living and doing good work in the world. We moms have an additional consideration of being available for our families. We must balance the benefits of bringing in an income with the costs of child care and the needs of our kids. Blogging is one way that a mother can be home with her children and still have some income. In order to make money from a blog, however, you need to either have a product of your own or sell other people’s products.
Since I haven’t started my own business or written my first e-book yet, I’m currently in the position of selling other people’s products. One way that many bloggers monetize their blogs is through advertising services. The services show ads on your page and pay you when people click the ads and purchase things. I didn’t want to have just any old ads on my page. What if I want to write a post against fast food restaurants? The ad service, however, detects the name of a fast food restaurant in my blog and shows my readers advertisements for that restaurant. That would just make me feel yucky. I already served my time selling bad food and drinks when I waited tables for three years at a popular chain restaurant.
Instead, I have chosen to join a blogging network called The Village Green Network, formerly known as Real Food Media. VGN is a network of real food bloggers who have joined together to promote real food, green products and each other. It’s a great way to get more readers and some great support as I try to grow my blog. When I grow my readership, I get to help more people and do more good in the world. Plus I get the satisfaction of knowing that there won’t be fast food ads on my blog pages. In addition, I get to promote the work of other great writers and bloggers, many of whom are also mothers who are trying to support their families and put quality food on the table. It’s a win win situation.
In the coming months, I will be working hard to write quality posts and begin to draw an income from my writing efforts. I may from time to time be promoting products and offers that I believe in. Even though my sales skills are decent, I still find it hard to promote anything that is not in line with my values. Therefore, I can give you my promise that when you see me mention a product or service here or on social media, it is because that product or service is in line with my own values. It will always be something that I do use or would like to use myself. When you purchase a product through my blog, I get a portion of the profits. Every little bit helps.
You will also see me at the local co-ops promoting various natural foods and products. These “demos” are another separate way that I support my family and supplement my part-time income from the farmers’ market. My favorite part of doing the product demos is that I get to use all of the products myself. This has allowed me to use some great products that I might not have discovered otherwise. The companies know that when salespeople use the products, we are more likely to suggest them to people. They also pay me a living wage for my time. That’s right, I get to use great products and be paid well for my time. The only drawback is that I only do these demos once or twice per month. I’m definitely trying to add more demos now that the outdoor farmers’ market season is over.
Last but not least, I’m going to school online to become a Certified Health Coach. I love writing and blogging, but my real passion is working with people, both one on one and in a group setting. Watch for more posts about this new chapter in my life. I’m getting pretty excited about my health coaching business. The school I’ve chosen is a perfect fit with my own health journey because it teaches us that no one diet is right for everyone and there are things beyond food that are equally important. Speaking of important things beyond food, it’s time for me to get back to my single most important job, being a mom. I hear the sweet voice of my girl in the hallway as she plays market manager and makes calls on her pretend cell phone. I think it’s time to join her for some Friday night play time and story time. I love being able to have the time and flexibility to enjoy the important things in life.